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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons from Chile

The U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons from Chile

Date: September 29, 2008
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Description: From 1981-1984, Chile experienced a banking crisis that in relative terms had a cost comparable in size to that perhaps facing the United States today. The Chilean Central Bank acted quickly and decisively in three ways to restore faith in the credit markets. It restructured firm and household loans, purchased nonperforming loans temporarily, and facilitated the sale or liquidation of insolvent financial institutions. These three measures increased liquidity in the credit markets and restored the balance sheets of the viable financial institutions. This report explores this incident in detail and in relation to the current financial situation in the U.S.
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The U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons from Japan

The U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons from Japan

Date: September 29, 2008
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.
Description: Japan's five bank bailout packages in the late 1990s may hold some lessons for the United States. Overcoming the crisis in Japan's banks took a combination of capital injections, new laws and regulations, stronger oversight, a reorganization of the banking sector, moderate economic recovery, and several years of banks working off their non-performing loans.
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Proposal to Allow Treasury to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets to Address Financial Instability

Proposal to Allow Treasury to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets to Address Financial Instability

Date: September 22, 2008
Creator: Murphy, Edward V. & Webel, Baird
Description: Financial markets underwent severe stress during the week of September 15 - 22, 2008. After Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and AIG received a bridge loan from the Federal Reserve, policymakers reassessed their case-by-case approach to resolving financial problems. Secretary of the Treasury Paulson announced a plan to allow Treasury to purchase mortgage-related assets from U.S. financial institutions. The announced intent of the plan is to unclog financial markets, increase the health of the banking sector, and reduce ongoing risks to the economy. This report discusses a draft of the proposal as it stood on September 21, 2008, and analyzes frequently asked questions.
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The Cost of Government Financial Interventions, Past and Present

The Cost of Government Financial Interventions, Past and Present

Date: September 23, 2008
Creator: Webel, Baird; Weiss, N. Eric & Labonte, Marc
Description: In response to ongoing financial turmoil that began in the subprime mortgage-backed securities market, the federal government has intervened with private corporations on a large scale and in an ad hoc manner three times from the beginning of 2008 through September 19, 2008. These interventions have prompted questions regarding the taxpayer costs and the sources of funding. The federal government may or may not end up seeing a positive fiscal contribution from the recent interventions. The results of previous government financial interventions are summarized in this report.
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U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

Date: October 15, 2008
Creator: Webel, Baird; Weiss, N. Eric & Labonte, Marc
Description: In response to ongoing financial turmoil that began in the subprime mortgage-backed securities market, the federal government has intervened with private corporations on a large scale and in an ad hoc manner three times from the beginning of 2008 through September 19, 2008. These interventions have prompted questions regarding the taxpayer costs and the sources of funding. The federal government may or may not end up seeing a positive fiscal contribution from the recent interventions. The results of previous government financial interventions are summarized in this report.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
H.R. 6076: Home Retention and Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

H.R. 6076: Home Retention and Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

Date: August 29, 2008
Creator: Murphy, Edward Vincent
Description: The Home Retention and Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 would defer foreclosure for eligible mortgage borrowers for up to 270 days. If passed, the bill would give extra time to some borrowers and lenders to consider alternatives to foreclosure, including traditional loss mitigation and participation in the new Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program for refinancing troubled loans. Some policymakers believe that a moratorium on foreclosures could help stabilize housing markets and alleviate problems from the subprime financial turmoil. This report explores this issue in detail and analyzes the individual aspects of the relevant legislation.
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China's Economy and the Beijing Olympics

China's Economy and the Beijing Olympics

Date: August 6, 2008
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: China hosted the 2008 Olympic Summer Games from August 8 to 24, 2008. This report outlines the expected short- and long-term benefits to China's economy, as well as how the Games could possibly enhance China's international image. The report also explores China's current economic conditions and the relative experiences of past host cities.
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Inflation: Core vs. Headline

Inflation: Core vs. Headline

Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: Inflation measures the rate of change in all prices. Maintaining low and stable inflation is one of the primary goals of macroeconomic policy. But how should inflation be measured? Policymakers, particularly at the Federal Reserve, often refer to core inflation in their policy decisions. Core inflation is commonly defined as a measure of inflation that omits changes in food and energy prices. However, several studies have failed to find core inflation to be a good forecaster of future inflation, casting doubt on the very rationale for relying on it. This report outlines the differences between core inflation and headline inflation.
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Who Are the "Middle Class"?

Who Are the "Middle Class"?

Date: October 22, 2008
Creator: Cashell, Brian W.
Description: There is no consensus definition of "middle class," neither is there an official government definition. What constitutes the middle class is relative, subjective, and not easily defined. The mid-point in the distribution is the median, and in 2007 the median household income was $50,233. How far above and below that amount the middle stretches remains an open question. This report explores the various definitions of the middle class and what salary ranges those definitions encompass, as well as related statistics and surveys that support this information.
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The Pattern of Interest Rates: Does it Signal an Impending Recession?

The Pattern of Interest Rates: Does it Signal an Impending Recession?

Date: May 5, 2008
Creator: Labonte, Marc & Makinen, Gail
Description: The cyclical behavior of the economy is of great interest to Congress, yet the onset of an economic downturn is seldom recognized promptly. Policymakers frequently search for reliable recession predictors. The behavior of interest rates may provide advanced warning of an impending downturn. The easing of monetary policy in evidence since September 2007 is consistent with efforts to forestall or minimize an economic downturn. Economic growth has been low since the last quarter of 2007, and some forecasters are now predicting a recession in 2008.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department